Horses of Honor 2015

The 2014 Horses of Honor program was such a hit that they continued the program in 2015. This time around they had a collection of 20 horses on display throughout Chicago. Like last year, this public art installation benefited The Chicago Police Memorial Foundation,  providing support to the families of those men and women who have been killed or catastrophically injured in the line of duty. This year, I had the privilege of working on two horses generously sponsored by Heritage Tile and Choose Chicago

Choose Chicago

Choose Chicago  is the official destination marketing organization for Chicago, Illinois. Their mission is to bring regional, national and international business and leisure visitors to Chicago for the economic benefit of the City, the community and their membership.

I collaborated with Lauren McPhillips at Choose Chicago to bring her Chicago themed design to life. One side shows off Chicago's skyline as seen from the East. The other side showcases Chicago's iconic Cloud Gate sculpture. I used enamel paint in an impressionistic style. 

This horse was created in honor of P.O. John R. Tucker #9168

Police Officer John Tucker, 34, was an 11-year veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to the South Chicago – Tactical Unit.

On October 8, 1968, Officer Tucker was off duty when he visited a bank to make a deposit. While inside, Clemmie Johnson entered the bank with a .38 revolver.  Johnson approached three tellers and ordered them to put money into a pillowcase.  A bank security guard activated the silent alarm which rang inside of the Gresham District Station.  Officer Tucker was unaware that officers had arrived and were waiting in the lobby to apprehend Johnson.   The brave officer approached Johnson and announced himself as a police officer. Johnson swung around and quickly shot Officer Tucker.  Responding officers stormed the bank and found Officer Tucker clutching his wounds as he uttered his last words, “I tried to get him.”  Officer Tucker died en route to the Hospital.

Johnson was sentenced to serve 100-199 years in prison for Officer Tucker’s murder.  He was also found guilty of armed robbery. 

He was survived by his wife, Regina; and children, James, Janice, and John Jr., (CPD).

Heritage Tile

The Heritage Tile mission is to reproduce our uniquely American heritage tile work to maintain the vintage character and craftsmanship of period homes. 

I knew immediately that I had to tile this horse! I used Heritage Tile's unglazed porcelain tile, used for custom mosaics, as my medium. I created the design by referencing Frank Lloyd Wright's stained glass windows. I guessed that this would be a time consuming project... but I had no idea that it would take 100 hours! I placed each tile piece by piece until 100% of "Frank" was covered. After grouting and sealing, this Horse of Honor was off to its temporary home at the Merchandise Mart. 

This horse was created in memory of Patrolman, Sidney Sam #13524

On June 16, 1971, Police Officer Sidney Sam had finished working the 3rd watch in uniform.  Officer Sam put a gray jacket over his uniform and drove off. Officer Sam double parked car while talking to a friend, who was outside his car. Three offenders walked up, approached the friend from behind, put a gun into her back and announced a robbery. At this time, Officer Sam began to reach down to his left side with his left hand, and the robber told Sam, “Don’t try for it.” At that time one of the offenders, now known as Robert Dismukes, began to shoot at Officer Sam through the open car window. After shooting Officer Sam, he pushed Officer Sam out from behind the steering wheel, got into the Buick and fled in the car with wounded Officer Sam still in the front seat. The other two offenders then fled on foot.  Officer Sam was discovered dead in his Buick a short time later in an alley.  Missing was Sam’s off duty .32 caliber revolver, his police star and identification.

Subsequent investigation by Area 4 detectives revealed the identity of Robert Dismukes, Louis Allen and David Lee Johnson as the three offenders who robbed and killed Officer Sam. All three offenders were arrested and subsequently charged and convicted for First Degree Murder and Armed Robbery.   Detectives recovered Officer Sam’s gun and his police star and identification.

Robert Dismukes was sentenced to 30 to 75 years in the Illinois Penitentiary, Louis Allen was sentenced to 20 to 50 years in the Illinois Penitentiary and David Lee Johnson was sentenced to 25 to 50 years in the Illinois Penitentiary

Officer Sam was survived by his three daughters, Debra, Cindy and Daphne.  Cindy is a Chicago Police Sergeant.

I am incredibly grateful to be a part of the Horses of Honor program and privileged to honor Chicago's fallen police officers. Click here to learn more about The Chicago Police Memorial Foundation and the Horses of Honor program.